Between the 17th and 24th February, 5 Senses Malta held ‘Training in Tourism and Cheesemaking Industry’ seminars for the TastyCheese TOUR project that will seek to encourage locals to look at Malta’s rich cheese-making tradition as an opportunity for rural tourism development.
TastyCheeseTOUR, funded through the COSME programme of the EU, is seeking to develop Cheese Tours in six member countries namely Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Slovenia and Spain. These tours will be developed with the direct participation of the local community by combining the cultural, industrial, culinary and agricultural heritage of the six respective regions.
As the EU’s cheese market is the world’s largest, the Tasty Cheese Tour project can make a difference by developing and fostering sustainable tourism products. This means that one of the main aims is not just to preserve and support our traditions but also to promote sustainable tourism, accessible to all, in which everyone who wants to, can participate.
The training was free and open to anyone interested in leveraging the opportunities of cheese-making and its culinary tradition. Dr Noel Buttigieg and Ms Sarah Faith Azzopardi from the University of Malta led the seminar. Topics ranged from an introduction on tourism policy and trends in Malta, to sustainable, experiential and creative tourism. Other topics tackled during the week included agro tourism, Food Culture, Food and Identity, the history and culture of Cheese, how to develop and market a new tourism product and creating a tourism itinerary.
The sessions were attended by incoming tourism agencies and tour operators, tourism students, farmers and small businesses who were all interested in a strategy to promote Maltese cheese and develop this food tourism industry. Feedback gathered later showed that those present found the content to be very relevant and interesting. The trainers kept participants highly involved with discussions and the seminar was a success.